Statement from the 128 collective
Regarding current conflict at the 128 radical social centre
The 128 collective is experiencing some severe conflict. We want to assure users of the space including: Revolting Books, Mechanical Tempest, Kai Kakariki, and the wider community that the 128 collective is committed to having those projects continue as we have done for nearly a decade.
In late September, the 128 collective – Stephen, Val, Tom, Raquel, Steph, Ryan and Rouge – met to discuss how to address issues relating to militant vegan animal rights culture at the house which has led to members and ex-members of the collective as well as a concerning number of members of the wider radical community feeling uncomfortable at 128.
Specific acts of hostility towards non-vegan people had also taken place that may not have if the vegan culture around the house were not as aggressive towards non-vegan individuals.
Some of these acts were done specifically by Tom, and raised by multiple collective members and community members as issues with Tom’s behavior.
Emails were sent by one member of the collective that were specifically directed at Tom’s behaviour; these were felt by some members of the collective to be verbally abusive to Tom; the collective agreed to address that issue separately following a resolution of the issues of vegan animal rights culture at the house, including the concerns raised about Tom’s actions around these issues.
During the first 4-hour meeting, Tom acknowledged some of his problematic behaviors but refused to be accountable for them, instead denying responsibility for the way his actions were being read by numerous people as hostile and intolerant.
The collective members were asked for proposals as to how the collective might move forward. Two hours into the meeting none had been offered when one member offered the proposal that Tom should step down as caretaker but remain active in the collective until there could be mutual understanding and Tom could see how his behaviors needed to change at 128.
Steph abstained from decision-making, Ryan, Stephen, Val and Rouge gave consensus for this, Raquel blocked consensus and Tom supported this block.
One week was agreed upon for Tom and Raquel to present a counter proposal or an amended proposal to the collective about how Tom could address this behaviour.
He did this via e-mail the following week, and the collective again met to hear and consider this proposal. Within that week, Steph had tendered her resignation to the collective.
At this second meeting, members of the collective discussed the proposal and heard Tom for some 4 hours.
All collective members minus Raquel did not feel that the proposal addressed the substantive issues raised.
Following this discussion about this proposal, four of the six collective members (everyone except Tom and Raquel) said they no longer consented to having Tom act as caretaker. The collective requires 100% consensus; Tom no longer had that from the collective.
As a person in a position of power within the house and the collective, the caretaker requires the on-going consent of the collective to be in that position. Tom was given one month (til 3 Nov) to move out. He was invited to remain an active part of the collective.
One week before his move-out date, Tom informed one of the collective members that he was not moving out. He did not inform the collective of his intention to stay at 128.
He did not accept that he no longer had the consent of the collective to act as caretaker.
Stephen quit the collective in protest to Tom’s refusal to move out.
Tom and Raquel were removed from the 128 email list 2 days before his intended move-out date. This was inappropriate and premature.
On Sunday (the day after Tom was due to move out), one collective member confirmed with him that he refused to move out.
On Monday, the 128 collective received an email from Tom saying that a new collective had been formed. Members of the current collective did not consent to this.
On Monday Tom also removed all of the other signatories on the 128 collective bank account. It is unclear precisely how this happened, but it was done without the consent or knowledge of the current collective members. Tom had put a note on the bank account back in September saying that only he could authorised transactions. This was also done without the consent of the collective.
Tom changed the email account log-in in order that the person on the collective responsible for checking and responding to emails could no longer access the account.
The 128 collective reiterates that it does not consent to Tom remaining as a caretaker, and we are seeking the removal of his personal effects and the return of the bank account and email address immediately.
We are asking the users of 128 and the wider community to respect the process that the 128 collective has undertaken in trying to resolve this conflict.
We acknowledge that a member of the current collective has acted inappropriately and this matter will be dealt with as we continue to follow the 128 collective kaupapa and process around this.
We are asking people who are seeking to overturn the existing 128 collective and create a ‘new 128 collective’ to abandon this undertaking and to support the 128 collective by attending 128 collective meetings and joining the collective if they wish to be a part of collective decision making and the running of the 128 radical community and resource center.
The 128 collective